On the paleo diet, grains are an absolutely no. For some there is a spectrum from not-so-bad to really bad. Rice is in the not-so-bad category, essentially nutritionally empty starch that some choose to eat occasionally. Wheat is definitely in the really-bad category. It was time to do some research and find out where oats lies in that spectrum, is oatmeal paleo?.
What exactly is oatmeal
Oats area a cereal grain and are generally sold in three forms. You will likely see all three at the supermarket. They are rolled oats, steel cut oats and instant oats. I won’t get into the details of what each type is but when you think oats you probably mean rolled oats. Instant oats are just like rolled oats but can be eaten just by adding hot water.
What’s the problem with oatmeal
Oats contain two problematic elements. Phytic acid and the Avenin. Phytic acid binds to minerals and limits their absorption. Mark sisson in this post points out that Oats has less than rice and roughly the same amount as wheat. You can negate the phytic acid by fermenting the Oats, since soaking isn’t enough.
So is Oatmeal paleo?
Ultimately Oatmeal is not paleo. The presence of phytic acid and avenin is not the only reason. There is also the glycemic load and the blood sugar spike most people get along with the accompanying sugar crash. You can slow down the spike with the healthy fat from coconut milk. There are plenty of other sources of starch out there, but again it is up to you. If you are not trying to lose fat, can control your potions and what you add to your oatmeal, then the choice is yours. It is definitely better than wheat but worse than rice.
If you are however trying to lose fat, and are not insulin sensitive, get blood sugar crashes and can only eat oatmeal by making it much sweeter, then I would definitely stay away from it.